New Year, new you: Tips on eating healthily in 2016

It may sound like a cliché, but the beginning of a brand new year really can be a great time to take the first step to achieving a goal – such as being healthier, losing weight or changing your lifestyle.

On January 1st, with the clean slate of a new year stretching out in front of you, your motivation has never been higher.  The trick is to keep your motivation up throughout the rest of the year, not just in January. Here are some tips to help you eat healthier and achieve your goals throughout the whole of 2016:

Prioritise fresh local ingredients, even when eating out. It’s important to know exactly what goes into your food, whether preparing it yourself at home or choosing restaurants which are transparent about using fresh, local, ethically sourced food. Dining at Weetwood Hall in Leeds, for example, is all about local Yorkshire ingredients and tasty, healthy food. Fresh ingredients taste better, there are no hidden unhealthy surprises and it’s also good for the environment and your local area to eat locally sourced ingredients from independent producers.

Avoid ready-made sauces and ready meals. These products, along with fizzy drinks, contain more salt and sugar than you’d ever guess at. For the sake of your health, it’s best to avoid these products and take the time to make sauces, pastes and meals yourself – or to seek out products with lower levels of salt and sugar.

Eat less meat and more fish. Try to eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of them oily – it’s full of protein, vitamins and minerals and good for your heart (although be aware that oily fish can contain a lot of salt), especially compared to meat. If you can replace meat with fish in your diet, you’ll be healthier overall.

Make vegetarian meals more exciting. 2016 could be the year you explore your vegetarian side, replacing meat in many of your favourite dishes with a wide variety of vegetables and discovering exciting new ones. Get yourself a vegetarian cookbook and find ways, if you’re not a veggie fan, to make vegetarian meals more appealing – thereby increasing your intake of healthy fruit and veg.

Cut down on alcohol during the week. Alcohol contains more calories than you realise, and most of us drink more than we should. Try cutting down on alcohol during the week, making it a treat on weekends instead. You may also want to kick start your new healthy eating plan by joining thousands of others in having a dry January – you can even raise money for charity while you’re doing so.

Drink plenty of water. Did you know that many times you think you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty? Keep nice and hydrated by drinking plenty of water – you could find it stops you from snacking and leaves you feeling healthier and more full of energy overall.

Follow these fairly simple healthy eating steps and you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier you in 2016.

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